Born in Burlington, Ontario, Scearce earned a business degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and later studied law at the University of British Columbia, graduating in 1992. He was admitted to the British Columbia bar in 1993, and shortly afterwards began working at the Aboriginal Law unit of the Department of Justice's Vancouver office. Scearce's work is mainly related to the rights of Aboriginal peoples in Canada. He works with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada on issues relating to the Indian Act, particularly issues with Indian reserves in British Columbia such as property development and leases.
After experimenting with short story writing, Scearce decided to attempt to write a screenplay in his spare time. He chose to adapt one of his favourite novels—A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood—and sent the finished script to Don Bachardy, Isherwood's surviving partner who held the rights to the story. Bachardy approved the script and it was picked up by fashion designer and film director Tom Ford, who rewrote parts of the script and financed the film's production himself. The final film, A Single Man, starring Colin Firth and Julianne Moore, was released in December 2009. It received critical acclaim as well as numerous awards and nominations, including a Critics' Choice Movie Award nomination for Best Screenplay and an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best First Screenplay.
In 2013, it was announced that Scearce was developing his second screenplay, Measure of a Man, a coming-of-age story set in the 1970s and based on Robert Lipsyte's novel One Fat Summer. The film will be directed by Terry Loane and star Christina Hendricks.
- "David Scearce". Clerk of the Privy Council. 27 September 2012. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
- Eisner, Ken (22 December 2009). "Vancouverite David Scearce succeeds with A Single Man screenplay". The Georgia Straight. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
- Lederman, Marsha (4 December 2009). "David Scearce: White collar by day, red carpet by night". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
- Dionne, Zach (14 June 2013). "Christina Hendricks Heading to the Seventies in Measure of a Man". New York. Retrieved 29 April 2014.